I actually think The Wall of Sound as created by Phil Spector is one of the most overrated music trends of the 1960’s. Not only did it borrow heavily from trends already happening in the sophistication blend of 1960’s “Rock & Roll” and popular music, it relied very heavily on the aesthetics of the musicians, arrangers and sound engineers Spector employed. This isn’t even getting into the cruel and unusual treatment he threw at his various stars. It’s no wonder truly Harvey Phillip Spector was truly, if you look at his reign of determining trends in Pop music was only a scant 3 years from the middle of 1962 through Early 1965. That’s being remarkably generous too.
He did however raise the bar for production values and creativity for a lot of popular musicians, producers and arrangers. No doubt Motown’s investment in an 8 track recording machine was to add multiple layers to the sounds coming out of Studio One by 1964. Burt Bacharach, Carole King and a score of people occupying the Brill Building felt a decided push to be even more meticulous and ornate with their productions. Brian Wilson’s admiration for what Spector accomplished in his own backyard definitely can be seen in Pet Sounds.
Here I’ve gathered 35 tracks that show either deliberate attempts at copying the latest Ronettes, Crystals or Righteous Brothers record, or integrating elements of these auditory building blocks into prominent other trends. You’ll note that a fair share of what we consider “Wall Of Sound” went into what we’d consider middle of the road Soul/Pop by 1965 (Notably, Barbara Lewis’s last Top 20 Pop Hit, “Make Me Your Baby” is a prime example). What Phil Spector really gave us, is the modern Power Ballad.
Whoa oh-oh how I hope you enjoy.